Rules and reform: eligibility, gender diﬀerences, and the Olympic Games
Eligibility has been a key site in women’s struggles for inclusion in the Olympic Games.
TheOlympic Charter stipulates when, how and why the Olympic Games take place. When
read in conjunction with the rulebooks of the International Federations (IFs) that
participate in the Olympic Movement, one can determine the eligibility requirements
athletes must fulﬁl to compete at the Olympic Games. Eligibility rules restricting who
could participate in the Olympic Games date back to the ﬁrst meeting of the International
Olympic Committee (IOC) in 1894, when the IOC gave itself the authority to set eligibility
parameters for the ﬁrst modern Games.